Today I read Mary Brandel’s article in Computerworld titled “Stormy Weather: 7 Gotchas in Cloud Computing” which discusses some of the possible issues related to turning to the Cloud for your application or site hosting needs. First, I agree (and actually like) the reference to “Cloud Computing” being like a pop song getting stuck in your head…it is a frequently (over)used buzzword swirling around the media and blogosphere. The article goes on to discuss about some hurdles or pitfalls surrounding this evolving technology. (I almost added “trend” to that previous sentence but then reminded myself, this is not a trend but rather a solid alternative to traditional IT technology.)
To briefly recap the 7 Gotchas that Brandel discusses:
- Costs, Part I: Cloud Infrastructure Providers
- Costs, Part II: Cloud Storage Providers
- Sudden Code Changes
- Service Disruptions
- Vendor Expertise
- Global Concerns
- Non-Native Applications
So let’s quickly dive into each of these items from a Cloud Computing Vendor’s perspective, that of GoGrid.
Costs, Part I: Cloud Infrastructure Providers
At the end of this discussion of high CapEx via purchasing hardware infrastructures versus “pay by the drink” method of Cloud Computing, a hybrid approach was discussed. Putting all of your IT infrastructure physically in a datacenter that you manage, OR, hosting everything entirely “in the cloud” might not be the best option on their own exclusively. It does make sense from a cost perspective to put everything in the Cloud but there is a possibility (depending on the cloud provider) that the throughput of high I/O servers might not meet your needs. Thus, a hybrid infrastructure might be a more logical solution (put your high-performance DB servers in a dedicated, managed environment and your elastic or dynamic resources, such as web or app servers, in the Cloud). For example, take a look at GoGrid’s offering called “Cloud Connect” which give the ability to link dedicated environments with the Cloud.
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